Senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse has landed in another controversy. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has accused him of causing a loss of Rs1,000 crore to the exchequer by sanctioning the transfer of lease of a prime land in Pune without following the due procedures.
At a press conference in Pune on Friday, AAP national spokesperson Preeti Sharma Menon called on chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to revoke this order passed by Khadse and initiate an inquiry into the land deal.
Armed with documents to substantiate her claims, Menon said Khadse allowed the transfer of a prime plot measuring 44,000 sqft in Vijaynagar Cooperative Housing Society at Bhosalenagar on Chatushrungi Road to Pune-based Amit Bhosale, managing director, Avinash Bhosale Infrastructure Ltd (ABIL), without paying the requisite levy to the government. She alleged that the government would have earned Rs1,000 crore had Khadse followed the due procedure while transferring the lease.
A Pune-based NGO had filed a complaint with the district collector office in 2014 and an ensuing inquiry revealed that 1951 GR was not followed while executing the deal. The Pune collector then initiated the procedure to recover the levy. The NGO, aware that the beneficiaries would file an appeal with the office of revenue minister, filed a caveat at his office.
Detailing Khadse’s role, Menon said that as revenue minister, he called additional commissioner and additional collector for the hearing, asking them to be present with all documents. She claimed that both the officers did not go to Mumbai and the revenue minister stayed collector’s order. “Khadse’s stay order caused a revenue loss to the state. The entire procedure poses a serious question about Khadse’s intentions,” she said.
Amit Bhosale, managing director, Avinash Bhosale Infrastructure Ltd (ABIL), in his statement, refuted the allegations and threatened to file a defamation case against Menon.
Khadse told HT that the decision was given in quasi-judicial capacity and AAP leaders are free to challenge it legally in court. Describing Menon’s allegations as a publicity stunt, Khadse said, “My well-wishers have filed 28 criminal defamation cases against AAP leaders all over Maharashtra and they have failed to submit any evidence.”